The Himachal Pradesh government has reduced the subsidy on pulses, edible oil and sugar to APL families and decided that no income taxpayer will get subsidised food under public distribution scheme for one year, an official spokesperson said.
As proposed by Cabinet Sub Committee for Post COVID-19 Economic Revival, the state cabinet took these decisions in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here on Wednesday.
Parliamentary Minister Suresh Bhardwaj told media that the state government will save Rs 71 crore by excluding taxpayers from getting subsidised food and by reducing subsidy to APL families.
It also proposed to enhance the upper income ceiling limit for selection of beneficiaries of BPL/priority households to Rs 45,000 approximately, Bhardwaj said, adding that this would increase the number of National Food Security Act households by 1,50,000 thereby making them eligible for getting wheat atta and rice at the highly subsidised rate of Rs 3.30 per kg and Rs 2 per kg, respectively.
The cabinet decided to make minor amendments in Industrial Disputes Act, Factory Act, Contract Labour Act and Agriculture Produce Marketing Act for providing ease of doing business for economic revival, he said adding that the amendments would be made by bringing ordinances.
The official spokesperson said that the amendment in the contract Act proposes to enhance the threshold limit for contract employment from 20 to 30 workmen. The Cabinet gave its approval to make necessary amendments in Section-1 of the Contract Labour (R&A) Act, 1970 (37 of 1970) in its application to the State of Himachal Pradesh, in Sub Section-4.
The cabinet also gave its nod for amendment in Section-2, 65 and 85 and insertion of New Section 106 (b) for compounding of offences in the Factories Act, 1948 to increase the manufacturing activities by small units by enhancing the existing threshold limits of 10 and 20 workers to 20 and 40 respectively.
Similarly, presently a worker may work overtime for maximum 75 hours in any quarter. But the amendment in clause (IV) 3 of Section 65 proposes to increase this limit to 115 hours subject to the condition that the overtime will have to be paid twice the rate of ordinary wages, so that the workers may get more opportunities to earn, he added.
It also gave its consent to make amendment in Section -22, 25 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to increase industrial investment, production and employment opportunities and further enhancement of ease of doing business, he said.
The cabinet also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing Rs 20 lakh crore economic package for the country to tackle the adverse affects on economy due to lockdown imposed in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cabinet observed that this package would go a long way in reviving the economy of the country by providing much needed relief to weaker sections, MSME, business community, workers and general public. It felt that the package would prove a milestone in making of a strong, vibrant and self-reliant India.